New Jersey voters are holding their collective noses to give embattled Sen. Bob Menendez a 51 to 44 percent lead over GOP challenger Bob Hugin less than three weeks before Election Day, according to a poll released Wednesday.
Evidence of voter disgust in the two-term incumbent came in the Quinnipiac University poll came in a question about Menendez’s favorability — which came in at a dismal 36 percent positive and 52 percent negative.
Menendez fended off federal corruption charges last year — but only because of a hung jury.
But the Senate voted in April to admonish him for trading gifts for favors with a Florida eye doctor who bilked the federal government out of nearly $9 million.
The race has tightened since the previous Quinnipiac poll on Oct. 3, where Menendez was ahead 53 to 42 percent.
Only 5 percent of voters in the new poll remain undecided, but 10 percent who favor a candidate said they could change their mind.
“The question for Bob Hugin is: can he win over those voters who say they are undecided or are backing Menendez and indicate they may change their mind. It will come down to how he defines himself in these last few weeks before Election Day as nearly 30 percent of voters say they haven’t heard enough about him to form an opinion of him.” said pollster Mary Snow.
The survey of 873 voters, taken from Oct. 10-16, has a 4.3 percentage point margin of error either way.
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